Warning! Graphic deaths ahead.
As the elevator door closed Fury asked Chameleon “Which level?”
“Nine” chameleon dryly answered.
After a long silence Sandman was the first to speak again. “What was that about?”
“I don´t know. But we can worry about that later.” Fury volunteered eyeing Loki who remained pensive.
“What could be Doom´s plan?” He pondered. “Maybe he´s trying to befriend with me again … Why? What does he want? Does he really think I´ll fall for that?”
“Loki!” Fury called him out loud. “We can sort that out later. For now, focus.”
Loki nodded his head affirmatively; Fury was right. This wasn´t the best moment to sort out Doom´s intentions.
When the lift arrived at level nine Fury told Chamaeleon. “We are here. Where to?”
“To your right, second corridor on your left.” Chamaeleon responded.
The moment they joined them Fury asked angrily. “What´s so freaking important you had to call us down here?”
“See it for yourself.” Chamaeleon answered as he pointed to a heavy looking metallic door with a small glass window on it.”
Fury gave both Mysterio and Chamaeleon a stern questioning look before looking into the opening. After a couple of seconds, he steps back looking shocked, instantly he snaps at Chamaeleon. “What the fuck?”
“Okanjo´s crown jewel … it seems that the super soldiers weren´t his only human experiment.” Chamaeleon informed him wryly.
“They are children.” Fury pointed at the door in dismay.
“Not anymore.” Chamaeleon grimly volunteered. “According to the records we found they are Okanjo´s lead experiment on biological weapons.”
While Chamaeleon and Mysterio continued debriefing Fury on what they had found both Loki and Sandman step forward to take a peak into the window. They could see rows of bunkbeds most of them were made but the closest to the door were disarranged. On the other side of the door thirty or fourty children from ages six to twelve were cramped around staring back at their uncommon visitors.
Loki paled, this wasn´t part of the plan. Sandman muffled a gasp with his right hand, the children looked sickly and thin; some of them had spots that varied from red to dark brown all over their bodies; at one point he thought some of them were blind. He step back uncomfortable as Chamaeleon ended his report.
Loki turned back agitated. “We need to get them out. You really don´t expect us to …”
“We can´t.” Mysterio interrupted him.
“And I wouldn´t.” Chamaeleon added.
“Explain.” Fury looked at them sternly as he crossed his arms over his chest.
“We tried at first, but the door has an unbreakable security code. That caught our attention so Chamaeleon hacked into their system to find out what was behind the door that called for such measures.” Mysterio explained.
“Not only the door is reinforced with vibranium but it has all sort of security measures magnetic fields, laser fields, it even counts with some sort of facial recognition system. If someone who´s not registered in the system goes in there it will activate a self-destruct system. They really wanted to make sure no one would get in or out unintendedly.” Chamaeleon took a look at them, as no one spoke up he continued. “Even if we could somehow get pass all of this measures there´s still the fact that Okanjo shot them with so many viruses those children are virtually poisonous. And I´m not kidding you about this, if any of us walked in there without a Hazmat suit he would be death within seconds.”
“How many of them are there?” Fury asked inexpressive.
“According to the records the experiments began with 200 children; only 33 remain.” Chamaeleon informed him.
“It doesn´t matter how many they are, we got to get them out of here.” Loki told Fury distressed. “It´s not their fault they are here.”
Fury looked conflicted. Leaving the children there was condemning them to die of starvation or worse. By the looks of it; it was unlikely any of the children would survive long. But at least they could make them more comfortable before the end. On the other side they couldn´t even get to them; and both their resources and time were limited. As he scowled thinking of a solution he opened the comlink.
“Dr. Octopus … is the enemy handled?” He asked sober-minded.
“It will be in a few moments.” Octopus answered almost cheerfully.
“Electro, situation update.” He asked in the same severe tone.
“The remaining officers barricaded themselves in one of the rooms but Venom and I will take care of that in a moment.” Electro reported.
“All right.” Fury huffed pensively. “Seems we´ll have full control of the base within minutes. One way or the other we can´t leave them here to die alone.”
Both Loki and Sandman sighed relieved, even Chamaeleon looked more relax.
Suddenly an alarm went off; the lights turned red inside the room as the children screamed and hid in terror.
“What the hell is happening now?” Fury inquired angrily.
“I don´t know.” Chamaeleon acknowledged angrily as he pulled out a device from his pocket and started typing on it. Within seconds he spat furiously. “It´s a dead man trigger. If the proper code isn´t inputted every twelve hours, the room is programed to incinerate its occupants.”
“We need to get them out now.” Loki yelled enraged.
“We can´t get them out. We can´t blast through the damn door, all the walls are vibranium reinforced too. If you somehow teleport in successfully the whole room will explode the moment the system recognizes you. And if we found a way the moment we breathe the same air they do we would be dead.” Chamaeleon yelled at him equally enraged, he wasn´t dying for them.
“That´s not necessary truth.” Mysterio intervened calmly. “If we can get them out all we need are some Hazmat suits.”
Everyone looked back at him anxiously waiting for an explanation.
“Did I forget to mention I found a locker room filled with Hazmat suits?” Mysterio cautiously asked.
All of them frowned at his answer.
“Guys, I don´t think we have time for this.” Sandman suddenly told them as he pointed to a countdown that could be seen in one of the walls inside the children´s room. They only had fifteen minutes.
“Are you sure you can´t just bypass the code?” Fury asked Chamaeleon in hope.
“If I could I would´ve already done it.” Chameleon answered irritated.
“There´s got to be another way, who could´ve had access to this password?” Fury asked again.
“Okanjo and Deiter by the looks of it.” Chamaeleon replied dryly.
“Mysterio lead the way, we need to get those Hazmat suits on.” Fury ordered as he opened the comlink. “Electro. I need to know if either Okanjo or Dieter are still alive.” Fury hurriedly asked.
“How the hell am I supposed to know that?” Electro answered displeased. “I´m not introducing ourselves to them before we kill them and my guess is that Venom isn´t even counting.” Electro slyly informed them.
“I don´t need your attitude Electro, we have a situation.” Fury scolded him harshly before proceeding to explain their current problem.
“Fucking shit!” Electro swore out loud shocked by the turn of events. “Are you sure we are the bad guys? Cause I wouldn´t …”
“Electro!” Fury admonished him.
“Ok, if any of them are here we´ll get you the code.” Electro asseverated firmly.
“Six minutes.” Chamaeleon stated out loud as they helped each other to secure their suits under Mysterio instructions.
“Electro, what you got?” Fury asked anxiously.
“Just a …” Suddenly a scream could be overheard through the comlink. “Ugh! … a moment.” Electro answered. “We found Okanjo, Venom is … discussing the matter with him as we speak.” More screams could be heard in the background. “And he´s quite enthusiastic about it if I may say so. I´m going to need a raise to pay for a shrink after this…”
“Electro!!” Fury snap at him irritated. “We don´t have time for your rambling. Do you have the code or not?”
“Whatever.” Electro answered displeased. “Yes, we have a code.”
Fury smirked relieved as he motioned to follow him. He could hear the muffled cheerful expressions of the rest of the team.
“Five nine, two, one, zero.” Electro repeated Okanjo´s information.
When Fury ended inputting the code the alarms went off. Loki tried to open the door but it wouldn´t move. “Maybe we need another code.” He suggested.
“Worst case scenario we have twelve hours to figure this out.” Mysterio prompt.
“We should be able to get the information out of Okanjo by then.” Chamaeleon volunteered.
“And arrange their transportation to a secure facility.” Fury added.
Suddenly all the alarms went off again; the clock´s countdown speeded quickly. Loki tried frantically to pull the door open. “I´m teleporting in.” He said out loud.
“No, you´re not.” Fury grabbed his arm as he told him. “Think of your daughter.”
Loki looked at Fury conflicted. “But …”
“It´s too late.” Chamaeleon grimly informed them as scared screams and painful shrieks could be heard inside the room.
“No!” Loki turned back to the door. He could still make out the silhouettes of the children crouched together as the fire consumed everything.
“No.” He muttered again as he grabbed onto the door witnessing the devastating scene. “Why? What kind of man does that to children?” Angry tears rolled down his face.
“What happened?” Electro suddenly asked over the comlink, Okanjo couldn´t stop smirking. He instantly knew the code he had gave them wasn´t the right one.
“He killed them.” Loki growled enraged between his teeth.” “That fucking bastard killed them.” Next he turned to Fury defiantly. “Tell me he´s not walking out of here.”
Fury answered evilly “Of course not, it was never the plan.”
“I´m glad to hear that.” Venom´s purred as he grabbed Okanjo´s head between his claws and began to squeeze.
“What the …?!” Electro complained loudly when suddenly a gushing sound and a hollow scream filled everyone’s comlink. “God!” Electro grumble before throwing up. “Stop laughing Venom! That´s disgusting!”
“He had it coming.” Venom replied dryly. “No one lies to us.”
No one spoke again for a few minutes trying to sort out their feelings about what had just happened.
Fury was the first to break the silence. “Is anyone left?”
“Not in our levels.” Electro replied swiftly.
“Dr. Octopus, anyone left in your levels?” Fury asked calmly.
“No, not anymore.” Octopus acknowledged nonchalance. They had all heard everything. By the looks in their faces Octavius knew that both his comrades were thinking the same thing he was, would it had ended differently if they had been down there? It was unlikely, but the thought would bother them for a while.
“All right.” Fury volunteered. “Loki get back to the base and bring all the C-4 and Octanitrocubane you can carry. I want to leave this place as soon as we can.”
Loki agreed, he removed the Hazmat suit as fast as he could glad to be out of that dreadful place at least for a few minutes. “I´m on it.”
As he reappeared in the base he had to sit for a moment aware of the knot he could feel in his stomach. He felt angry, disgusted, guilty, sad … he hated with every fiber in his being what Okanjo had done to those children. On the other side he felt glad Venom had ended him in such a horrid fashion. “What does that says from me?” He pondered if Thor would feel the same way he did if he had been in his place. It was hard to picture anyone who would feel anything else but contempt for Okanjo. Surely not even Steve, he probably wouldn´t condone it but he really wouldn´t be upset about his demise either, wouldn´t he?
“There will be time for this afterwards.” He thought as he pulled himself together.
Within half an hour they had wired all the base.
“Five minutes before this place becomes nothing but a bad memory.” Fury stated. “Let´s get out of here.”